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Fourteen Unit Attributes to Guide Staffing

Berkow, Steven JD; Jaggi, Tonushree BA; Fogelson, Richard JD; Katz, Sarah BA; Hirschoff, Aliina MFA

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: March 2007 - Volume 37 - Issue 3 - p 150-155
doi: 10.1097/01.NNA.0000262737.00662.f9

Given the evolving body of academic literature tying patient outcomes to specific nurse staffing variables (ratios, education, experience, etc), hospitals are increasingly challenged to balance ideal investments in care quality with current nurse labor constraints. The Nursing Executive Center conducted structured interviews with chief nurses from a cross section of the nation's leading hospitals to understand how nursing leaders are incorporating recent academic findings in workforce planning and unit-level staffing. Study findings demonstrate a clear consensus among chief nurses on which staffing enhancements hold the greatest promise for positively impacting each of 14 distinct unit attributes.

Authors' affiliations: Executive Director (Mr Berkow); Consultant (Ms Jaggi); Practice Manager (Mr Fogelson); Senior Analyst (Ms Katz); Senior Managing Editor (Ms Hirschoff), Nursing Executive Center, The Advisory Board Company, Washington, DC.

Funding: The Nursing Executive Center, part of the Advisory Board Company, provides more than 1,800 member hospitals with strategic insights and best practices to elevate nursing performance and patient care. The Center's findings are shared with members through national roundtables, online tools, research reports, on-site workshops, national conference calls, and the Center's hotline. This research comprises 1 component of a 5-component research inquiry on the link between staffing and quality conducted and presented to member executives this past year.

Corresponding author: Ms Jaggi, The Advisory Board Company, 2445 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 (

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.